Archive for Dezember 11th, 2013

11. Dezember 2013

Japans neues Sicherheitsgesetz

Alles schwarz, so sieht das dann aus. Als die japanische Zeitung Mainichi Shimbun vor einiger Zeit Details zu den neuen Sicherheitsgesetzen erfahren wollte, bekam sie von den Behörden Dokumente zugesandt, in denen jeglicher Inhalt geschwärzt war. Die USA schätzen die neue Richtung, die Japan in der Sicherheitspolitik jetzt rasch durchziehen will. Japans Regierung, die auf eine engere Kooperation mit den USA baut, mag die Demonstranten der Bürgerrechtler nicht, die sehr beunruhigt sind. Shigeru Ishiba, Generalsekretär der LDP, rückte sie am vergangenen Freitag in die Nähe von Terroristen.

Mittlerweile betreibt die Regierung Krisenmanagement, um die Aufregung zu beschwichtigen. Alles nicht so gemeint, entschuldigte sich Ishiba für seinen Blog-Beitrag und korrigierte: „Ordentliche Demonstrationen und Versammlungen sind für eine Demokratie wünschenswert, egal für welchen Anlass sie abgehalten werden.“

Ob sich die alarmierten Bürgerrechtler von dieser Phrase beruhigen lassen? Für die Regierung geht es darum, die neuen Sicherheitsgesetze rasch, d.h. vor dem 6. Dezember, vor der Parlamentspause, durch die zweite Kammer zu bringen. Auch im Oberhaus des japanischen Zweikammernparlaments Kokkai, dem Sangiin, verfügt sie über eine Mehrheit.

Proteste werden mit Terrorismus in Verbindung gebracht

Zu lautstark vorgebrachte Kritik und Widerstand könnten das Oberhaus möglicherweise zum Nachdenken bringen, die Freitags-Attacke von Ishiba in seinem Blog zielte darauf, genau solche Proteste zu diskriminieren, sie außerhalb des national geforderten Konsens zu stellen:

„Lärmende Proteste gegen die Entscheidung der Regierung laufen auf Terrorismus hinaus.“

Das Oberhaus sollte das Gesetz ohne Zögern „killen“, fordern Meinungsartikel. Es gebe zu viele Fragen, die noch unbeantwortet sind und zu viele Regierungsbehörden, die durch das Gesetz ermächtigt werden, nach ihrem Gusto zu entscheiden, was ein Staatsgeheimnis ist.

Die japanische Regierung will einen Nationalen Sicherheitsrat nach US-Vorbild gründen, mit dem Sicherheitspartner enger zusammenarbeiten – was angesichts der gegenwärtigen Streitigkeiten mit China als grundlegende außenpolitische Ausrichtung derzeit gut zu verkaufen ist – und sie will deutlich mehr innenpolitische Kontrolle, wie aus dem neuen Sicherheitsgesetzespaket unmissverständlich hervorgeht. Die im politischen System Japans relevantere Kammer, das Unterhaus, hat das Gesetz bereits letzte Woche verabschiedet. Sein Kern:

Künftig sollen Beamte, Abgeordnete oder andere Personen mit bis zu zehn Jahren Gefängnis bestraft werden, wenn sie „bestimmte Geheimnisse“ zum Schutz der nationalen Sicherheit weitergeben. Bisher drohte Whistleblowern in Japan höchstens ein Jahr Haft.

Dies ist jedoch nur ein Teil dessen, was das Gesetz zu einer Waffe gegen unliebsame Kritik macht, der andere Teufel sitzt in der Deutungshoheit darüber, was als „bestimmte Geheimnisse“ bezeichnet wird: Darüber soll nämlich auch die Regierung bestimmen.

„Eine feste Kontrollkommission ist nicht geplant“

Eine Instanz zur Aufsicht oder Kontrolle darüber, was von der Regierung als Staatsgeheimnis festgelegt wird, ist ihm Gesetz nur vage angedeutet, so die Kritik, von Bürgerrechtlern, Anwälten und Journalisten: „eine feste Kontrollkommission ist nicht geplant“ – alle Macht der Exekutive also, wie ein Bericht der FAZ andeutet. Deren Mitherausgeber Frank Schirrmacher bringt die Situation auf den kritischen Punkt:

Japan will Geheimnisverrat schwer bestrafen. Pointe: Regierung kann alles zum Geheimnis erklären

Zum Beispiel auch Informationen im Zusammenhang mit weiteren Entwicklungen in der AKW-Anlage Fukushima. Eine stärkere Kontrolle der Informationen könnte Arbeiter auf dem Gelände derart einschüchtern, dass sie lieber Schweigen bewahren über die Sicherheitsrisiken dort. Solche Einschüchterungen sind freilich nicht auf die Lage in Fukushima begrenzt.

Missbrauch der neuen Gesetze fürchten auch nicht nur diejenigen, die Meinungsfreiheit von Berufs wegen vertreten, sondern satte 80 Prozent der Bevölkerung.

400.000 Staatsgeheimnisse

Etwas hat der Widerstand gegen das neue Sicherheitspaket schon bewirkt. Ursprünglich wollte man die Verschlusszeit der Staatsgeheimnisse sogar auf „immer“ ausdehnen, so die Informationen des britischen Economist. Ob die Regierung aber ihre Beteuerung einhält, wonach die Menge der Verschlusssachen nicht weiter vergrößert wird, ist fraglich.

Derzeit sollen in den Behörden 420.000 als geheim eingestufte Dokumente aufbewahrt sein. Zwischen 300.000 und 400.000 davon sollen künftig als Staatsgeheimnisse gelten. Nach welchen Kriterien die Einteilung v orgenommen wird, worum es geht, bleibt schwarz. Zu erkennen ist nur, dass die Abschottung vor der Öffentlichkeit sehr umfassend ist

http://www.heise.de/tp/artikel/40/40474/1.html

11. Dezember 2013

Will Billionaire Omidyar Save His Soul–Or Just Corrupt Greenwald’s?

http://ow.ly/rFvje

Perhaps it was always true, but today it’s more clearly true than ever: billionaires are a parasitic plague on the human race, and no good society should tolerate their existence. The fact of their widening distribution throughout the planet of course implies as a corollary that very few good societies exist. A sad fact that, making it hardly surprising that human civilization is rapidly careening toward an unprecedented environmental destruction that entails its own. And billionaires–and our insane tolerance for them–bear a gargantuan share of the blame.

So, when a billionaire engages in charity, we should maintain the same unmoved skepticism Jesus did in citing a poor widow’s far greater comparative charity, since she alone faces any risk of want. But what’s far more pertinent, we should probably smell a rat. Anyone corrupt enough to become a billionaire in the first place is very likely unable to give with any purity, without the vile self-interest that created the usurpation of unjust wealth sneaking in and performing its insidious dirty work. Such are the suspicions I harbor toward Pierre Omidyar and his new, supposedly independent, journalistic enterprise.

The only thing that makes me hesitate to condemn it outright is the quality and integrity of the journalists he’s enlisted–the likes of Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, and Jeremy Scahill. Doubtless, in an age of corporate media monopoly and corporate-will-enforcing government censorship, Greenwald, Poitras, and Scahill pragmatically sense the need to fight fire with fire, to pit public-spirited billionaire megabucks against the mountainous pile of democracy- and planet-destroying ones. And I, who have suggested that in our desperate political plight, the Green Party should pragmatically abandon its scruples (until Citizens United is overturned and campaign contributions radically reformed) and solicit contributions from well-heeled renewable-energy donors, have no right to complain of their pragmatism. It saddens me–when it doesn’t make me boil with rage–that my own plutocrat-hostile opinion pieces are confined to the ghetto of alternative progressive media. So I, as an opinionated amateur, can only imagine the sentiments of deeply skilled investigative journalists who appear to cherish the common good.

I would never even consider the potential corruption of such fine, public-spirited journalists, if I didn’t find billionaires so morally repulsive. Of course, there’s the sheer callousness of feeling oneself entitled to so much, when so many fellow human beings live on so little. But my loathing for the excessively rich goes far beyond that, and stems, I believe, from my deep love for democracy–and ultimately, hatred of bullying.

See, I recall reading in C.S. Lewis an analysis supporting Jesus‘ low regard for the very rich and their dismal prospects of attaining heaven. Lewis, thinking in terms of the British currency of his day, toted up the annual income needed to acquire virtually every creature comfort one could possibly enjoy at roughly 10,000 British pounds. Now, we could certainly adjust that for inflation, and perhaps also for the limited luxury imagination of a contented scholar like Lewis. But the important take-home lesson from Lewis is that there’s a point–a point long ago overshot by any billionaire–where one’s extra income isn’t buying a personally pleasurable ounce of extra luxury or comfort. Even Bill Gates has acknowledged as much, and the greater marginal utility of an extra dollar to a poor consumer than to a rich one has long been a staple of economics.

So the question inevitably becomes, Just what of any value to rich individuals is their excessive wealth buying? And if we give this question due scrutiny, I believe the motives revealed are none-too-reputable. For example, Warren Buffett–reputed one of the „good“ billionaires–has spoken of money as a way of keeping score. Now granted, few of us, especially few raised in a competitive society like ours, are immune to the ego gratification of coming out on top. But come on, in a world where so many needlessly live in misery, anxiety, and life-threatening danger due to poverty, you’re going to hoard wealth so your ego can keep score! Hardly free of ego myself, I can’t begin to admire anyone this shallow. As my wise friend Joe astutely said, „If they want to prove they’re so friggin‘ intellectually superior, why can’t they just play chess?“ For me, the sheer shallowness of keeping score at life-threatening cost to others trumps any notion of intellectual superiority. If you’re so God-damn rich, why ain’t you smart?

Tragically, even in Buffett’s case, I suspect the shallowness of „keeping score,“ while real, barely scratches the motivation surface; something far deeper–far more deeply evil–is at play. For ultimately, what excess wealth buys is control–even tyranny–over other people’s lives. Perhaps this is even the real meaning of keeping score: not the shallow boast of topping the Forbes wealthiest list, but the godlike ability to make other human beings dance to one’s will. And if this ability is „godlike,“ it’s certainly not in fashion of the loving God of Christianity, but of the spoiled, vindictive, arbitrary, egotistical bullies of the Greek and Roman pantheon. Simply put, money spells might, and might makes right.

While I buy, to a limited extent, the notion of wealth as a reward for socially beneficial economic effort, the wealth of billionaires is anything but. If we stick simply to economics, I believe that excessive wealth is best analyzed as a negative externality–an undesired and undesirable effect of letting the market (which, importantly, never exists in pure form, but only under the rules society decides on) do its own thing. And if these are bad rules, the „free“ action of the market will be a bad thing.

Before returning to Omidyar and Greenwald, I wish to show by example why I consider billionaire wealth a negative externality. Now, in a society that supposedly treasures democracy, and in nation where checks and balances against unaccountable power were supposedly put in place, vast unelected and unaccountable power is presumably a very bad thing. Yet, this is quite clearly the side effect of the market, as it now functions in the United States. Consumers who buy, for example, the Koch brothers‘ oil and gas, never elected the Koch brothers; in many cases, they never even heard of the Koch brothers. Yet because they sell massive quantities of a product on which every industrial society depends, inevitably–unless society places limits on their acquisition of wealth–they acquire a level of wealth that gives them godlike power over other lives. Not, mind you, because voters noted their wisdom and chose to give them that control, but because the Kochs and folks like them used their excessive wealth to exert undue power on the political process and media to slant society’s rules to their benefit. And, given that the Kochs‘ fossil fuel product now plays the central role in destroying our climate and human civilization along with it, this unaccountable, unelected power violates the common good. It’s hard to imagine a worse externality–the unchosen, catastrophic effect of „free“ consumer decisions under perverse economic rules. The market–not voters–has elected genocidal tyrants king.

While the Kochs‘ case is a particularly vile and perverse one, it forcefully illustrates the sheer folly of giving any individual such unelected, accountable power over other people’s lives. Any billionaire has such unelected, unaccountable power over other lives, and I personally cannot think well of any individual who thinks he or she deserves it. I see, rather, a sinister, arrogant desire to impose one’s will–often with life-or-death effect–on other lives.

Greenwald, Poitras, and Scahill, due precisely to the bad rules governing our markets that give billionaires such influence, have made the understandable strategic decision to work for one such unaccountable billionaire, precisely because he claims to be different and will resist the others. Given the unjust usurpation of power in merely being a billionaire, that claim must be treated with the utmost skepticism. Greenwald, with the highest profile and clearly a man of conscience, has already bristled at the suggestion that he has sold out. Where the accusation comes from pro-spying lackeys, I find Greenwald’s raised hackles totally justified. But Mammon’s documented power is notorious. Only by our keeping relentless pressure on Greenwald and his colleagues to report the truth contrary to plutocrat interests can Omidyar’s enterprise have even a prayer of fulfilling its muckraking, democracy-serving promise.

http://ow.ly/rFvje

11. Dezember 2013

Operation Payback: Anonymous-Hacker bekennen sich schuldig

Im Gerichtsverfahren im kalifornischen San Jose um Angriffe auf die Website des Bezahldienstleisters PayPal haben sich alle 13 Angeklagte schuldig bekannt. Sie hätten im Dezember 2010 als Teil der Gruppe Anonymous DDoS-Attacken initiiert, geht aus einer Mitteilung der Staatsanwältin Melinda Haag hervor. Die Angeklagten sind derzeit gegen Kaution auf freiem Fuß. Das Urteil soll Ende kommenden Jahres verkündet werden.

Die DDoS-Attacken der so genannten Operation Payback oder Operation Avenge Assange waren ein Protest dagegen, dass Paypal das Kundenkonto der Enthüllungsplattform Wikileaks gesperrt hatte. Zuvor hatte WikiLeaks begonnen, tausende Depeschen von US-Botschaften zu veröffentlichen. Paypal war der Meinung, WikiLeaks habe damit gegen die Nutzungsbedingungen des Bezahldienstes verstoßen.

eBay-Gründer Pierre Omidyar hatte vor kürzen dafür plädiert, die Teilnehmer der DDoS-Attacke milde zu behandeln. Er könne verstehen, dass die Protestierenden „das Gefühl hatten, dass sie einfach an einer Online-Demonstration teilnahmen“, schrieb Omidyar. „Das ist ihr Recht, und ich unterstützte die freie Meinungsäußerung, selbst wenn es meine eigene Firma betrifft.“ (anw) http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/Operation-Payback-Anonymous-Hacker-bekennen-sich-schuldig-2062559.html

11. Dezember 2013

eBay-Gründer Omidyar will Gnade für PayPal-Hacker

Pierre Omidyar, Gründer und Vorsitzender von eBay, hat sich dafür ausgesprochen, jene 14 Hacker, die 2010 den Bezahldienstleister per DDoS angegriffen haben, mit Nachsicht zu behandeln. Das Bemerkenswerte dabei: PayPal ist eine eBay-Tochter.

Diese Woche müssen sich 14 Hacker, die dem Anonymous-Kollektiv zugeschrieben werden, vor Gericht für einen DDoS-Angriff auf PayPal im Jahr 2010 verantworten. Dieser war eine Reaktion auf die damalige Aussetzung der Beziehungen zur Whistleblower-Seite Wikileaks. PayPal hatte nach der Veröffentlichung von über 250.000 US-Botschaftsberichten das Konto der Enthüllungsplattform gesperrt und damit den Zorn der Hacker auf sich gezogen.

Omidyar schreibt nun auf Huffington Post, dass er als Chairman von eBay schon damals gleich nach dem Bekanntwerden der Entscheidung dem Management der Unternehmenstochter PayPal seine Bedenken mitgeteilt habe.

http://winfuture.de/news,79168.html

11. Dezember 2013

Saving the Net from the surveillance sta

Saving the Net from the surveillance state: Glenn Greenwald speaks up (Q&A)
The man to whom Edward Snowden entrusted his NSA documents isn’t content just to save the Bill of Rights and reinvent journalism. He also wants to stop the Internet from becoming history’s most dangerous spy tool. Greenwald also wants to change journalism as we know it. And he’s got $250 million from eBay founder Pierre Omidyar to help him do it.
With those cash reserves, and the team of talent he and his partners are assembling — including not just journalists but also lawyers, media theorists, and source-protecting cryptographers — Greenwald hopes to provide a formidable counterpoint to the „establishment press.“ http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57613838-38/saving-the-net-from-the-surveillance-state-glenn-greenwald-speaks-up-q-a/

11. Dezember 2013

Pierre Omidyar, CEO and publisher of Honolulu Civil Beat, Founder of eBay

[Pierre Omidyar, CEO and publisher of Honolulu Civil Beat, Founder of eBay] WikiLeaks, Press Freedom and Free Expression in the Digital Age These are vital questions in today’s society. The First Amendment is one of the most important rights we have. How will our understanding of the First Amendment adapt as society and technology changes? Time will tell, but our freedoms depend on a vigorous engagement on these questions by all of us. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/pierre-omidyar/wikileaks-press-freedom-a_b_4380738.html

11. Dezember 2013

[Baseler Zeitung] Das Weisse Haus und die manipulierten Daten

[Baseler Zeitung] Das Weisse Haus und die manipulierten Daten
Die Regierung Obama soll Informationen über den Giftgas-Einsatz in Syrien im August manipuliert haben. Dies behauptete der Enthüllungsreporter Seymour Hersh http://bazonline.ch/ausland/amerika/Das-Weisse-Haus-und-die-manipulierten-Daten-/story/31421778

11. Dezember 2013

[ND] Mit vertuschten Beweisen zum Krieg gegen Assad

[ND] Mit vertuschten Beweisen zum Krieg gegen Assad
US-Regierung soll von Giftgas-Potenzial syrischer Rebellen gewusst haben
Haben Rebellen in Syrien Giftgas gegen die Zivilbevölkerung eingesetzt? Die US-Regierung soll Informationen, die dies nahelegen, gezielt vertuscht haben. Das Ziel: einen Militäreinsatz gegen Assad zu legitimieren. Die Vorwürfe erinnern an die falschen Geheimdienstberichte vor dem Irakkrieg. Nur dieses Mal sind nicht erfundene, sondern zurückgehaltene Beweise über Massenvernichtungswaffen: Rebellen in Syrien könnten für den Giftgasangriff vom 21. August verantwortlich sein. US-Geheimdienstinformationen, die dies belegen, sollen von der amerikanischen Regierung gezielt vertuscht worden sein. http://www.neues-deutschland.de/artikel/917526.mit-vertuschten-beweisen-zum-krieg-gegen-assad.html

11. Dezember 2013

Enthüllungsjournalist klagt anSeymour Hersh: Obama täuschte Öffentlichkeit zu Syrien

Enthüllungsjournalist klagt anSeymour Hersh: Obama täuschte Öffentlichkeit zu Syrien

Große US-Medien sollen die Veröffentlichung abgelehnt haben, daraufhin sei Hersh zur „London Review of Books“ gegangen. Die britische Literaturzeitschrift veröffentlichte den Text.
Hersh: „Al-Nusra hätte nach dem Angriff ein Verdächtiger sein müssen, aber die Regierung hat sich aus den Geheimdienstinformationen die Rosinen herausgesucht, um einen Angriff gegen Assad zu rechtfertigen“, schreibt Hersh. Er beruft sich unter anderem auf ein Geheimdienstdokument von Juni, in dem von chemischen Kampfstoffen in den Händen islamistischer Rebellen die Rede gewesen sein soll. http://www.focus.de/politik/ausland/krise-in-der-arabischen-welt/syrien/seymour-hersh-klagt-an-enthuellungsjournalist-obama-taeuschte-oeffentlichkeit-zu-syrien_id_3469220.html

11. Dezember 2013

The Other Questions Raised by Seymour Hersh’s Syria Scoop

„Obama did not tell the whole story“ on Bashar al-Assad’s alleged involvement in a chemical weapons strike in Syria last August, begins Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh’s latest piece.

The investigation, published at the London Review of Books this weekend, argues that the Obama administration „cherry-picked intelligence“ in order to make the case for a military strike against Syria, omitting indications that Syrian rebels were also capable of obtaining Sarin gas. Hersh is one of the country’s best-respected investigative journalists, with an unparalleled track record of breaking big news. But while his latest work, called „Whose Sarin?“ has gained substantial attention for the claims it contains, not everyone is convinced that Hersh got the story completely right this time.

According to multiple reports, Hersh first took „Whose Sarin?“ to the New Yorker and the Washington Post, both of whom passed. While the New Yorker (where Hersh, a freelancer, regularly publishes his biggest scoops) did not comment on their reasons for not publishing the story, the Post reportedly rejected the piece because it didn’t meet the paper’s sourcing standards. The London Review of Books, apparently in response to questions about the piece’s provenance, told the Huffington Post that Hersh’s work was fact-checked by a former New Yorker fact checker before publication. Hersh’s story relies on anonymous sources, which is how Hersh tends to work, as do most reporters who deal with the world of foreign intelligence. It’s produced some of his best reporting.

Speaking to Amy Goodman at Democracy Now! on Monday, Hersh argued that the „mainstream press“ was already sold on the Obama administration’s narrative, that „Bashar did it.“ Hersh added: „This is why creepy troublemakers like me stay in business.“ He responded to questions about the Post’s decision to drop his story in a similar manner: „Why did I think a mainstream press paper would want to go so hard against, you know, from a freelancer?“ Hersh told Goodman, adding, „It was silly of me. I should have just gone to the London Review very quickly. My mistake.“

At least a few Syria experts are critical of Hersh’s conclusions at the London Review, including Eliot Higgins, a noted weapons expert who goes by the pseudonym Brown Moses on Twitter:

@Brown_Moses: „The fact is, there’s some key missing information from Hersh’s article about the munitions used that has been available for weeks.“

Dan Kaszeta, another security expert, while not dismissing Hersh’s reporting outright, suggests that it is incomplete and out of date:

@DanKaszeta: „I’ve been reading Seymour Hersh’s latest re. 8/21 and Syria. He’s months behind the dialogue and data.“

For what it’s worth, the White House has also denied Hersh’s allegations: Shawn Turner, a spokesman for the Director of National Intelligence, told The Hill that „the intelligence clearly indicated that the Assad regime and only the Assad regime could have been responsible for the 21 August chemical weapons attack,“ adding that „the suggestion that there was an effort to suppress intelligence about a nonexistent alternative explanation is simply false.”

When it comes to investigative reporting, few have built up a stronger track record than Hersh, but recent comments by him about other members of the media have probably undermined a bit of that goodwill. Back in September, Hersh stated flatly in an interview with the London Guardian, that the official story of Osama bin Laden’s death at the hand of U.S. Navy Seals is a fraud, saying, „Nothing’s been done about that story, it’s one big lie, not one word of it is true.“ His solution was for media outlets to fire all their editors, except the „ones that you can’t control.“ Perhaps one of those editors would have published his sarin story a little faster.

Reprinted with permission from The Wire. The original story can be found here.

This article was published in Global Security Newswire, which is produced independently by National Journal Group under contract with the Nuclear Threat Initiative. NTI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan group working to reduce global threats from nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons.
http://www.nationaljournal.com/global-security-newswire/the-other-questions-raised-by-seymour-hersh-s-syria-scoop-20131210

11. Dezember 2013

US media blacks out Seymour Hersh exposé of Washington’s lies on sarin attack in Syria

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/12/11/hers-d11.html

By Barry Grey
11 December 2013

The American media has blacked out an account by Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh demonstrating that President Barack Obama and the US government lied when they claimed to have proof that the Syrian government carried out a sarin gas attack last August on areas near Damascus held by US-backed “rebels.”

Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, US ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power and other top officials declared categorically that the August 21 attack on Eastern Ghouta, which reportedly killed hundreds of people, had been carried out by the Syrian military. They, along with the leaders of Britain and France, sought to use the gas attack to stampede public opinion behind their plans to attack Syria, cripple the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, and install a puppet government.

In the end, internal differences over the launching of direct military action combined with broad popular opposition to another unprovoked war in the Middle East led the administration to pull back and accept a Russian plan for the dismantling of Syrian chemical weapons. This was followed by the opening of talks with Iran, Syria’s main ally in the region.

Hersh’s article, entitled “Whose sarin?,” was published Sunday by the London Review of Books. Based on information provided by current and former US intelligence and military officials, Hersh showed in great detail that Washington manipulated intelligence to create the impression that it had tracked the Syrian military preparing to launch a poison gas attack in the days leading up to the sarin strike on Eastern Ghouta. In fact, US intelligence had no advance warning of the attack.

Even more damning, Hersh documents that Obama and other top officials deliberately ignored and concealed a series of military and intelligence reports over the preceding months warning that Al Qaeda-affiliated jihadist groups that formed the backbone of imperialist proxy forces in Syria, including the al-Nusra Front, had access to sarin and the ability to weaponize it. (See: “Seymour Hersh exposes US government lies on Syrian sarin attack”).

The previous May, Carla Del Ponte, a member of the United Nations Independent Commission of Inquiry on Syria, had reported “strong, concrete” evidence that earlier gas attacks had been carried out by Western-backed forces.

In his article, Hersh documents as well the complicity of the US media in uncritically accepting and promoting the government lies, reprising its role as a propaganda arm of the state in the run-up to the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. He singles out in particular the Washington Post and the New York Times .

The response of the American media to Hersh’s authoritative exposure of US government criminality has been to bury it. In Britain, only two major newspapers, the Daily Mail and the Telegraph, have thus far reported on it. In the US, there has been a total blackout by major newspapers and broadcast and cable news networks.

This is a highly conscious operation. Hersh is an internationally known and respected journalist. He gained worldwide recognition in 1969 for exposing the My Lai massacre in Vietnam and its cover-up, for which he received the 1970 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting.

Just how conscious the major media outlets are in deciding to black out Hersh’s article is underscored by an article published Monday on the Huffington Post web site. The article reports, based on an email exchange with Hersh, that both the New Yorker magazine, where he is a staff writer, and the Washington Post rejected his article when he submitted it to them for publication.

According to the Huffington Post, “Hersh wrote that he was told by email that [Washington Post] Executive Editor Marty Baron decided ‘that the sourcing in the article did not meet the Post’s standards.’”

This comes from a newspaper that published an editorial on August 22, before any investigation into the Ghouta attack had taken place to verify that poison gas was used, let alone determine the perpetrator, demanding that Obama order “direct US retaliation against the Syrian military forces responsible” and adopt a plan to establish a no-fly zone.

Joining in the silence of the major media organizations are the publications of pseudo-left groups such as SocialistWorker.org (the International Socialist Organization) and International Viewpoint (the organ of Pabloite groups such as the French New Anti-capitalist Party). They have chosen as well to ignore Hersh’s damning exposé, which comes as no surprise since it exposes their own complicity in promoting Washington’s lies as part of their pro-war and pro-imperialist policy.

11. Dezember 2013

New Yorker, Washington Post Passed On Seymour Hersh Syria Report

New Yorker, Washington Post Passed On Seymour Hersh Syria Report
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh accused the Obama administration Sunday of having “cherry-picked intelligence” regarding the Aug. 21 chemical attack in Syria that served as evidence for an argument in favor of striking President Bashar Assad’s government. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/08/seymour-hersh-syria-report_n_4409674.html

11. Dezember 2013

International Human Rights Day

Tuesday, December 10 – International Human Rights Day
Location: Congressman John Conyer’s office, 2426 Rayburn House Office Building
Purpose: Cut Runaway Military Spending to Meet Dire Domestic Needs

Peace, anti-hunger, anti-poverty, environmental and community groups will gather in the nation’s Capitol on Tuesday December 10 to observe International Human Rights Day by calling upon Congress to slash runaway, dangerous military spending and meet critical domestic needs instead.

The groups will hold a news conference and media availability at 10 AM. They will then deliver letters and petitions signed by more than one hundred organization and 7,000 individuals to Cong. Ryan and Sen. Murray, the Co-Chairs of the Congressional budget committee charged with passing a budget resolution by December 13. The Committee is seeking to reduce the nominal defense cuts presently required under the sequestration agreement.

The UN General Assembly proclaimed 10 December as Human Rights Day in 1950. In 2006 the UN focused on the issue of poverty, declaring the poverty prevails as the gravest human rights challenge in the world. The massive expenditures on the military is a significant factor in poverty and income inequality in America. Human rights also includes the right to be free from the threat of violence and war.

72 years after the nation was propelled into World War II by the attack on Pearl Harbor, the groups say it is time for the country to end its obsolete wartime budget – as it had done after every prior major conflict. The country’s failure to heed President Eisenhower’s warning about the growth in power of the Congressional Military Industrial complex has resulted in a massive military budget that bears no relation to the country’s legitimate defense needs.

Consuming more than half of all discretionary federal spending, the US military budget is roughly equal to the rest of the world combined. The groups charge that the military budget has become primarily corporate welfare and a tool to further the interests of multinational corporations. A hundred billion dollars is spent to maintain more than one thousand military bases in 130 countries, including Europe, Japan and Korea. Much of the Pentagon spending is wasted, with high levels of graft, overhead, outside consultants, and duplicative and unnecessary weapon systems. Rather than having an energy policy creating resource wars and climate chaos, the US should invest in renewable energy to create jobs, avert climate disaster, and make wars for oil obsolete.

Groups initiating the campaign include the Backbone Campaign; Coalition Against Nukes; Code Pink; Fellowship of Reconciliation, Freepress.org; Hunger Action Network of NYS; Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space; Green Shadow Cabinet; Green Party of NY; Hip Hop Congress; Liberty Tree Foundation for the Democratic Revolution; No FEAR Coalition; Organic Consumers Association; Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign; PopularResistance.org; Roots Action; and US Labor Against War.

Speakers at the news conference will include: Jill Stein, Green Shadow Cabinet; Cheri Honkala, Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign; David Swanson, Roots Action; Mark Dunlea, Hunger Action Network of New York State; Dr. David Schwartzman, Professor Emeritus Howard University and community activist.

The groups want Congress to cut military spending by 25 to 50%, using the savings to :

– Adequately funding critical social needs, including food stamps, Social Security, improved and expanded Medicare for all, and public education including college,

·- Creating a full employment public jobs program to jump start the green economy (a Green New Deal) ,

– Rebuilding vital infrastructure.

11. Dezember 2013

Japan: Neue Sicherheitsgesetzgebung erinnert an die Dreißigerjahre, als das damals faschistische Japan sich militarisierte

Die Sicherheitspolitik des japanischen Premiers Zuchtmeister statt Reformer – jetzt setzt er ganz auf Härte in der Sicherheitspolitik. Ein neues Gesetz erweitert die ohnehin große Geheimnistuerei der Regierung und droht Whistleblowern. http://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/die-sicherheitspolitik-des-japanischen-premiers-zuchtmeister-statt-reformer-1.1838937

11. Dezember 2013

[wsws.org] Die Oligarchen der Ukraine un

[wsws.org]
Die Oligarchen der Ukraine und die EU
Die EU-Außenbeauftragte Catherine Ashton reiste am Dienstag nach Kiew, um festzustellen, ob einige führende Oligarchen die ukrainische Regierung zum Einlenken bewegen können. http://www.wsws.org/de/articles/2013/12/11/asht-d11.html